On March 3 a Vietnamese Buddhist monk was stabbed to death by a homeless man whom he had taken into his temple in Philadelphia. Thich Hanh Man, 43, had served only three months as resident monk at Philadelphia’s first Vietnamese Buddhist temple when the attack occurred. Though other members of the temple had warned him about Lan-Ngoc Nguyen, a Vietnamese homeless man whose past, they said, included arrests and a history of mental illness, Man felt that it was his duty as a monk to offer help.
Police said they saw evidence of a struggle in the temple kitchen. Members of the temple who knew Man, however, said that the turned-over tables and chairs were evidence not of a fight, but of a chase. Man, they said, who outweighed his attacker by twenty pounds, would have been trying to escape when he was stabbed nine times.